Politics

Rep. Patrick McHenry proposes replacing Grant with Reagan on the $50 bill.

reagasmConservative anti-tax activist Grover Norquist suggested back in 2008 that former President Ronald Reagan be placed on the $10 bill. In fact, there have been many right-wing efforts to place Reagan on U.S. currency. For instance, conservatives tried to replace Franklin Roosevelt with Reagan on the dime; they tried to replace Andrew Jackson with Reagan on the $20 bill; and, they proposed a bill in 2005 that aimed to place Reagan on the $50 bill that never made it out of the House Financial Services Committee. Now, Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) has introduced legislation that again proposes putting Reagan’s face on the $50 bill, replacing former president Ulysses S. Grant:

Ronald Reagan is honored by, among other things, an airport, a freeway, an aircraft carrier and — ironically for a critic of big government — one of the biggest federal buildings in Washington. Now, some of the late president’s admirers are launching a new effort to add another honor: printing his likeness on a $50 bill in place of Ulysses S. Grant’s. In polls of presidential scholars, Reagan consistently outranks Grant, said Rep. Patrick T. McHenry (R-N.C.), who introduced legislation to make the change.

But at least one Democrat who serves on the House Financial Services Committee, where the proposal has been sent, isn’t ready to jettison Grant for “someone whose policies are still controversial.” “Our currency ought to be something that unites us,” said Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Sherman Oaks).

One of McHenry’s constituents, J.A. Dalpiaz, said that the biggest “drawback to the new currency would be Republican reluctance to spend it.” “I’m afraid I’d want to take them all off the market and put them in my safety deposit box,” Dalpiaz said. “He’s like a saint in the Republican Party. We’d keep them as a memento.”